Travel wardrobe


Deadlines. Presentations. Reading. Revision. Packing for that trip you’ve planned for January. All stress-inducing tasks, but a load about to be lightened with these guidelines on what not to forget if you’re heading to warmer (or colder) sands during the Christmas break.

Some wardrobe items are essential for most types of holidays:

  • Sunglasses: No matter where you’re going, the view is infinitely less pleasant when seen through eyes half-blinded by the sun, and no one looks great in photos when they’re squinting. Even if it’s just to disguise the effects of a night out sampling sake, sunglasses never take up unnecessary space in your suitcase.
  • A watch: It’s risky to depend on your phone, and even riskier to rely on gesticulation as a means of asking people. You never know who you might be offending!
  • Swimming gear: The world is full of inviting swimming pools, stretches of ocean, rivers, lochs…
  • Sleep mask: If it’s not artificial lighting that’s hindering your attempts at sleep while travelling, it’s jet lag. That’s where sleep masks come in.
  • Umbrella: You know it makes sense.


  • Shawl x2: Shawls are so compact that keeping two close at hand is never a burden: one to wear when the temperature drops at around dusk, and a less favoured one for more practical situations (think impromptu picnic rug, towel, blanket.)
  • Evening clutch: Make it metallic rather than black, so that if you choose to use it to spice up a daytime outfit it doesn’t look too heavy or formal.
  • Wedges: Either in boot or sandal form, wedges are more comfortable than heels and just as feminine, perfect for day and night-time sightseeing.

Warm weather

  • Straw tote: Light, durable and pretty, a straw tote doubles as an ideal bag for the journey and the destination. Tres chic!
  • Ballet flats: Black or nude flats are as sweet as they are sensible for daywear, but a glittery pair can function as a more practical replacement for evening heels. An added bonus is that they’re generally compact enough to fit inside a handbag!

Cool weather

  • Tights: No. of days x2 = no. of tights to pack.* Rips and ladders can’t be predicted or salvaged, and if it’s particularly cold you may even want to double up.


  • Long-sleeved shirts: It may be an obvious one, but long-sleeved shirts are fail-safe whether it’s day, night, warm, cold, casual or formal. Sleeves rolled up and buttons undone accordingly, cufflinks optional.
  • Scarves: Scarves, aside from being a means of warmth, take up about a third of the space a jacket does, and three scarves freshen up the same jacket three times, saving you on suitcase space.

Warm weather

  • Lightweight trousers: Smart, comfortable and functional as day and eveningwear, especially if you opt for a medium or dark colour, such as teal.
  • Boat shoes: Slip-ons make for less fumbling at airport security and are less offensive than sandals for strolls around cities.

Cool weather

  • Socks: *Apply same rule. While neutral colours are the standard go-to, a jolly flash of something brighter can always add playfulness to an otherwise sombre ensemble.
  • Loafers: Less formal than Oxfords, a pair of good-quality loafers should easily withstand any potential bad weather, especially if treated with protectant.

The fundamentals of efficient holiday packing are to choose basics within the same colour scheme and select multi-functional accessories, bearing day-to-evening transitions in mind. Pack too much, and you return with a suitcase half-full of unworn clothes. Pack too little, and you’re at risk of having to ration out certain items of clothing from the moment you arrive. Hopefully with the aforementioned tips in mind, you’ll achieve the right balance. Happy travelling!


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